March 7, 2021 The home of UK car culture

£200 Big Mac? Could your next drive-thru be more expensive than expected?

Drivers are being warned that a visit to a fast food drive-thru could cost you £200 more than you bargained for. Laws introduced earlier last year are being enforced, meaning it could be an offence to pay at a drive-thru using your mobile phone if your engine is still running.

Under the new rules, people seen holding their mobile phones while driving will be given 6 penalty points and a £200 fine – double the previous penalty for this offence! For drivers who only passed their test within the last two years, getting six points means your licence would be cancelled and you would no longer be qualified to drive.

UK law states that you can only use your phone while in a vehicle if you need to call 999 in an emergency and it is unsafe or impractical to pull over, or if you are safely parked. This also applies to when you are stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic but, what if you’re parked at a drive-thru window?

The legal conundrum was raised by Jay Chase on Twitter. He asked GMP Traffic if he could use Apple Pay as a McDonalds drive-thru without losing his licence, as technically it would count as using a phone whilst driving.

GMP Traffic said “If your engine is off, your handbrake is applied and you are parked yes. If your engine is on, NO”.

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